News & Blog

For the latest industry and case news

Working at height – fines, costs, and safety

By Alex Edwards

Published In: Personal Injury

Working at height always carries potential risks. Individuals working on ladders, scaffolding, or in cherry pickers/cranes face a higher likelihood of falling from heights. Such falls can lead to severe injuries, including spinal, head, and brain damage, and may even be fatal.

Photo of worker on a cherry picker

Your employer is responsible for ensuring your safety by minimising risks in the workplace. If your job involves working at height, your employer must provide the necessary training and equipment to ensure you can perform your duties safely.

Alex Edwards , solicitor within the personal injury team at Switalskis specialises in employer’s liability claims, including work-related accidents involving working at height.

Falls from height are said to be the biggest cause of fatal accidents involving workers. Health and Safety (HSE) revealed that approximately forty workers lost their lives falling from heights in 2022/23. This makes up for almost 30% of fatal work-related accidents. See our blog on the top five most common workplace accidents.

In December 2023, Chatham based business European Active Projects Limited (EAP), was fined £100,000 after being prosecuted by the HSE for breaching Work at Height Regulations.

Luckily, none of EAP’s employees were injured in the accident. However, regulations in place to protect workers, were breached by EAP.

In June 2022, three workers were part of a team removing heavy equipment from the deck of a boat in Ramsgate Harbour, as part of a refurbishment of the boat. A forklift was used to raise a pallet to the deck of the boat, where it was used as a platform to remove equipment. A worker was seen climbing from the boat, and then underneath guard rails onto the pallet. The worker was carrying a motorised pressure washer, which was subsequently lowered to the ground. 

It transpired during the HSE’s investigation, that EAP had not planned the work at height that was necessary for the refurbishments of the boat. The investigation concluded that this lack of planning had left the workers at risk and that there was no safe method devised by EAP, for removal of the equipment on the boat’s deck.

EAP pleaded guilty at Maidstone Magistrates' Court to breaching Section 4(1) for the Work at Height Regulations 2005. In addition to the fine, EAP were ordered to pay £5,730 in court costs.

 For the vast majority of companies in England and Wales, regardless of size, £100,000 is a significant fine by a regulating body.

 Health and safety regulations are vital for the safety of employees and the wider general public.

Alex commented: “Far too often we see cases where employers have failed to protect their workers when they are working at height. It's vital that lessons are learned from this and other falls from height, so that these incidents aren't repeated in the future.

In the event of an accident that results in injury or death, stemming from such a breach, we can help you claim compensation and  get you the answers you deserve”.

How Switalskis can help

When it comes to pursuing a compensation claim for an accident at work , our personal injury specialists are here to provide expert guidance every step of the way. We offer efficient and compassionate legal advice that sets us apart.

Our accident at work claims team is dedicated to upholding your rights and making sure your voice is heard throughout the claims process. We stand by your side at every phase, providing the information you need to make informed decisions. Call 01302 320621 or email


Back to News & Blog
Share this post

Alex is a newly qualified Solicitor in our Personal Injury department, based in Doncaster.


News, views and information from us and the industry

Related posts

Contact us